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Anderson Cooper 360

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Davis 10, Troy Davis 8, Michael Vick 8, Us 7, David Gergen 5, Savannah 5, Barrett 4, Georgia 3, David Frumm 3, Jeffrey Toobin 3, Michael Jackson 3, Jeff 2, Cnn 2, Trilipix 2, Sylvester 2, Washington 2, U.s. 2, Obama 2, Randi Kaye 2, Gary Tuchman 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business. Anchors Anderson  
   Cooper reports from New York. (CC)  

    August 18, 2009
    1:00 - 2:00am EDT  

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key piece of health care reform. the public option. government-provided health insurance. supporters said it would hold insurance companies accountable. it's drawn the eye of others who say it puts too much government into your life. last month mr. obama said any reform bill had to include the public option. this weekend he and his administration were down playing it because lawmakers don't support it. is the public option dead tonight and if so what does that mean for president obama and for you? we begin with tom foreman and "the raw politics." >> reporter: even with hundreds of health care reform supporters, that's right, supporters, cheering him on at a rally in arizona, this was a hot day for president obama. >> health care now! health care now! >> reporter: he came to talk to military veterans and threw in a plug for health care. >> one thing reform won't change is veterans health care. no one is going to take away
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your benefits. that is the plain and simple truth. >> reporter: it drew applause but not enough to drown out the fire he is taking from all sides. following weeks of republican opposition, over the weekend the white house seemed to play down the importance of one part of the democratic reform plan, a government-backed insurance program to compete with private insurance companies. and liberal democrats met that trial balloon with buck shot. >> in the house of representatives without a strong public plan, even stronger than the one we reported out of committee, i think it would have a very difficult time getting 218 votes. >> reporter: as if to make sure he may be courting legislative failure the speaker of the house nancy pelosi issued a statement effectively calling the president out by quoting his own words back at him. as the president stated in march, the thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices and it helps keep the private sector honest. we agree with the president.
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by midday today the white house was trying to reassure liberals, suggesting the public plan is alive and well, driving conservatives into yet, another lather. >> if we let pelosi and people like that direct us, we are doomed. >> reporter: and all that apparent seesawing is doing nothing to calm those who call themselves fiscally moderate and can't stomach the cost. >> i cannot support this bill in the version it's in now. telling cnn, he still believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals. but the question of the moment, how will he pass a bill for
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health care reform? anderson? the idea of the co-op traces back to farmers in the heartland 75 years ago. here to explain what it means, 360 sanjay gupta. explain to us the difference between a public option and co-op. >> a co-op is not government run. a not for profit organization that could offer insurance as part of the health exchange. people go to health exchange. everyone who buys into the program, pays premiums is essentially on the board as well. they're all members as well as insured people. what kind of benefits are going to be offered. members as well as people who benefit from the plan. >> how does it work? do they have their own doctors? >> you can have an organization that sort of tries to bid on
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doctor services or bid on certain hospital services. so all you could have doctors and nurses as part of it that also provide care. there are different models. there are a couple of co-ops that exist like this in the country that work pretty well in washington state, for example, and in minnesota. it can be made up of a variety of things. the big issue, here, anderson is scale. how big might it be? a state level, regional level or national level? >> the idea of the public plan are people who are not insured would be covered. would a co-op guarantee coverage for people? >> that is a good question. i think the answer is it would guarantee access, much in the way that we've been talking about health care reform sort of broadly. what i mean by that, we talk about reform, the idea people can't be discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions, for example. from what i'm understanding, some of this is fluid as you know. all the programs that participate in the health exchange, again, this place you can go if you don't have health care insurance and try and find health care insurance none can
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discriminate based on preexisting conditions. that would apply to private insurance companies as well as this co-op. if you can pay the premium you can get health care insurance. it doesn't mean everyone is going to be covered automatically. you have to bid and a pay the premium. >> would this co-op provide competition against massive insurance company as part of the idea that competition would help everybody? >> if you look at the co-op across the board they have a couple of things going for them. they are not for profit, for example. they have low administration fees. overhead fees. as a result they may be able to have lower premiums. that would be competitive. that's sort of the objective part of it. the subjective part that people cite who are fans of co-ops will say because everyone who is getting insured there is also a member of this, sort of a collective sort of feeling of how to do the best for its members who are also the people who are insured. i can tell you this, looking at
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the historical knowledge of co-ops, unless you get scale, and hundreds of thousands of people participating, it's going to be hard for a co-on to compete against the private insurance company which is why the people who are such supporters of the public option are crying foul today. the public option was a national option, it had no scale. hundreds of thousands if not more people. that could compete. could a co-op even at a regional level compete? it all depen on how many people join. sanjay will be back tomorrow night taking your questions. a lot more online at ac360.com including a special guide to the debate. while you are there join the live chat underway. i just joined up. if president obama compromises on the public option does he appear weak? we are digging deeper. with david gergen, david frumm and mia mallika henderson from politico. michael vick says he's sorry. he is back in the nfl after torturing dogs, forcing them to fight to the death, drowning some, electrocuting others. do you buy his apology? you're going to hear it for yourself tonight where you can be the judge on "360."
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president obama said a government-provided option like medicare is needed to keep insurance companies honest. this weekend he backed away and today seemed to tiptoe back. digging deeper with david gergen, political white house reporter, nia-malika henderson and david frumm. i want to play what kathleen sebelius said on "state of the union." she was asked about the public option and her answer raised a lot of eyebrows. let's listen.
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>> what i think is important is choice and competition. i'm convinced at the end of the day the plan will have both of those. that is not the essential element. >> quite simply, so the public option is not a dealbreaker from the president's standpoint? >> i think there will be a competitor to private insurers. that is the essential part. you don't turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing. we need some choices. we need some competition. >> she didn't say public option is off the table. she is talking about competition. co-op i guess could fit that bill. the white house officials say nothing is changed. what is going on? >> i think that when almost every major newspaper in the country led today with the fact there seemed to be a retreat on the part of the white house, the press wasn't being hysterical there. that was the logical interpretation when president obama just the day before said the public option was only a
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sliver, a sliver of his whole plan when it seemed to be an essential part of it. i think what is going on is the white house has tipped its hand it is willing to give it up in a much more open manner. it is being seen as a preemptory retreat by the left, the liberals who have always seen the public option as being the holy grail for health care reform. for liberals, anderson who believe in a single-payer system, the government runs the whole system the public option was a way to build up a large government system and eventually open the door to single payer. so from a perspective of the left the white house seems to be giving away this essential element of the plan even before some of the tough negotiations start. >> is the political reality that the town hall protests have rattled the white house? >> that seems to be the case in part. what you have seen the white house do in the sense of the death panels and defanging that
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argument, that's what they're doing here. floating the whole idea that maybe a public option isn't the best choice. it is one of many choices. in some ways they are moving to take the wind out of the sails of republicans who have made this argument and really talked about the government plan undermining private insurance. i mean politically it makes some sense for them. they're anering the base. they're anering progressives. my blackberry was filled up all day with messages from congressmen essentially saying it is troubling to them the white house seems to be retreating on this public plan. the question is are they going to be able to get -- if they lose some votes or support from progressives perhaps they get support from republicans or blue dog democrats. >> david fromm, do you think the white house is getting wobbly, to paraphrase margaret thatcher based on these town hall meetings? >> i think they are getting wise. the question is what is reform about? what does it mean? what are you trying to
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accomplish? as david gergen said there were people on the president's left whose idea of reform is essentially to move the united states to drive out private insurers. they see the profit motive the source of the problem in health care. the reason why health care costs go up and up every year. that, i don't think, bears scrutiny. the point of view the large majority of americans are trying to conserve and protect what they are have. the problem is the prices keep going up. the problem is there are these abuses by insurance companies. they want what the white house is increasingly shrewdly begun to call health insurance reform, a curb of the worst element of the private insurance system. nia makes a good point about the base. the problem that a democratic white house has, while the democratic coalition as a whole is quite big, the democratic liberal base is small. probably only 1/5 of the country. democrats more than republicans cannot afford to govern from the base. >> david gergen, there are
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liberals who are saying does president obama have a backbone to fight on any issues. he called himself a fierce advocate of gay and lesbian issues. gay and lesbians don't think he is that right now. he seems early on in the process willing to give up a key cornerstone of his plan. >> president obama is rewriting the book on leadership in his own way. perhaps this will work out. but i think from the traditionalist point of view, what we look to is a president who sounds a clear and certain trumpet. someone who says follow me, here's where we're going and here are the three things i want. if i have to give up one to get to two, i will, but i'll do that as part of a bargain. here the white house seems to be giving it up without getting anything in exchange. i don't know what they picked up as a result of this. it has antagonized the base and left a lot of left feeling is he really one of us or not? the problem he is getting into
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is he is getting into a cross fire with the left, he is not certain he is one of them, and moderates and conservatives believe he is too liberal. so, you know, he's catching it both ways. >> david frumm, you've been in the white house with george bush. from a leadership standpoint does this send a message to opponents he can be pushed around? >> i don't think it would. he faces the problem. his own party is not crazy about this public option. the chairman of the private finance committee, kent conrad, a democrat said he would vote against it. the fees to pay for this have to pass through conrad's committee. barack obama's core problem is simply this. he placed every chip he could lay his hands on and about 800 billion more he could borrow on his stimulus plan delivering results in something like a short order. we're now seeing germany is coming out of recession, japan is coming out of recession. france, canada, the united states is mired in it. unemployment plus
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underemployment is 16%. and the public doesn't see benefits from this massive debt. that is why he is so weak this month because he doesn't look like his ideas are working. if they looked better, he would be stronger. in the future if they look better he'll be stronger then. if in the future they look weaker, he will get weaker. >> nia-malika, what's next? >> he is going on vacation next week. there will be essentially a vacuum in terms of leadership from the white house and talking points from the white house. it will be interesting to see how folks from the hill fill this discussion up and at the town halls if things get more heated there. again, it is certainly possible he has taken some of the wind out of the sails of some of his critics. again, i think the larger question has david said is whether or not he's -- he's shown, you know, weakness in this idea maybe he can be pushed around and doesn't necessarily have a spine when it comes to using his political capital for
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what was supposed to be his signature effort. >> i want to disagree with david frum on one point. he is right there are significant democrats not in favor of the public option but the overwhelming majority of people in the democratic party are for a public option. four committees have reported it. it is in all four committee reports so far. they are having a hard time holding on to the moderate democrats. and that's where the problem is. >> david frum, david gergen, nia-malika henderson. appreciate it. thank you. just ahead tonight. supreme court doing something it has not done in nearly half a century. why it granted an appeal to a death row inmate. a convicted cop killer. what was so digfferent about ths case. "crime and punishment" tonight. if you open up your wallet right now chances are you have illegal drugs and you don't know it? what drug is in your wallet or at least the residue of it.
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did you hear the milwaukee mayor attacked by a guy with a pipe at the state fair after he tried to assist a grandmother calling for help? he ended in the hospital. first, erica hill with the "360" bulletin. the first atlantic hurricane bill is gaining strength. good news tonight, though, it is still far from shore. winds are topping 110 miles per hour. the storm is on track to close in on bermuda by week's end. tropical storm claudette and ana weakened to tropical depression. claudette drenching florida's panhandle today. winds from ana threatening haiti still. weak consumer spending caused a major pullback on wall street. the dow plunging 180 points, 2%. largest drop from early july. the nasdaq and s&p 500 had steep declines. justice department calls it the largest identity theft case ever prosecuted.
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a miami man indicted accused of hacking into the files of heartland payment systems and stealing data on 130 million debit and credit cards. the company has not disclosed how many accounts have been compromised. still looking for that detail. 90% of paper money circulating in u.s. cities, get this, if you guessed before the break, contains traces of cocaine. the new study from a professor found in some larger cities, all of the bills, 100% had comb on them. isn't that amazing? they say the amount is minuscule and doesn't pose health risk. it happens by bills coming in contact with each other and happens a lot of time in currency counting machines because they're in so close proximity. the residue is left on the machines and put is it on to the other bills. >> are that many people doing cocaine? >> apparently it only takes a few. >> okay. a death row inmate gets the rare chance to appeal his conviction. why the supreme court is giving the convicted cop killer another
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shot of proving he's innocent. what it's going to take for troy davis to win his freedom. his story ahead. nfl quarterback michael vick back on the field speaking out about his dogfighting days. he blames himself for the mess that landed him in prison. do you believe his apology? you'll hear it for yourself tonight. lower your
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if you cannot afford your medication, call 1-866-4-trilipix for more information. trilipix. there's more to cholesterol. get the picture. it hasn't happened in nearly 50 years. today the u.s. supreme court did something extraordinary. stepped in and granted a death row inmate's request for appeal. the condemned inmate who is being held in georgia swears he is not a killer of a police officer. several witnesses for the prosecution have recanted their testimony. others believe he is guilty and should pay for the crime with his life. we want to know what you think.
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is an innocent man on death row or hoping to escape justice? gary tuchman has more. tonight's "crime and punishment" report. >> reporter: a jury only took a few hours to decide troy davis was guilty of murdering a police officer in savannah, georgia. a few more hours to decide to send him to death row. brenda forest was a juror. >> he was definitely guilty. all the witnesses were able to i.d. him as the person who actually did it. >> reporter: the primary reason he was convicted? the witness testimony. the slain police officer's wife agrees. >> they were so adamant about what they saw, when they saw it. >> reporter: this is how the juror feels now. >> if i knew then what i know now, troy davis would not be on death row. the verdict would be not guilty. >> reporter: what she knows now is this, almost all of the prosecution's star witnesses have changed their stories. some saying police pressured them to say troy davis did it.
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darryl collins, one of the prosecution witnesses who signed a police statement implicating troy davis. >> i told them over and over i didn't see this happen. they put what they wanted to put in that statement. >> reporter: 20 years ago a savannah police officer was working an off duty job here providing security for this bus station and this burger king restaurant that is currently out of business. a homeless man was being harassed and intimidated in this parking lot. he yelled and the officer ran over and seconds later officer mark macphail was shot and killed. two decades later it is still horrifying. the man who admitted to harassing the homeless person went to police and told them he saw troy davis shoot the officer. wanted posters went up all over savannah, a reward. racial tensions inflamed. after the shooting troy davis was in atlanta four hours away, his sister says, scared for his life. >> my brother decided to turn
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hils himself in, but they already had a shoot to kill order on him. >> reporter: this man, a pastor, got in touch with davis. he agreed to pick him up and turn him in. the pastor who never told the story to the reporter before, was stunned the d.a.'s office never interviewed him. you are with this man four hours, they never interviewed you? >> never. >> reporter: never asked about your journey? >> never. >> reporter: what he said, if he had a weapon, if he admitted to the crime? >> nothing. this is the one case nobody wanted to know. i don't think now looking back anybody cared. >> reporter: savannah police said witness interviews were taken properly, no coercion. prosecutors stood by the conviction. a number of witnesses have signed affidavits changing their original testimony. dorothy ferrell is one. a former prison inmate. she writes i was scared that if i didn't cooperate with the detective then he might find a way to have me locked up again. so i told him that troy davis
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was the shooter even though i didn't see who shot the officer. a witness named jeffrey sap now writes the police came to talk to me and put a lot of pressure on me to say troy did this. they made it clear the only way they would leave me alone is if i told them what they wanted. then there's this woman who said she purposefully left out testimony. sylvester coles asked you to hold his gun? >> yeah. >> reporter: sylvester coals, the man who admitted harassing the homeless person, who admitting to fingering troy davis. >> he opened the screen door. >> reporter: this screen door here? >> this screen door which this was not here. it was a wooden screen door. this was tore out. he opened the door, set the gun here and shut the door back. >> reporter: and you -- did you think he did the shooting? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: did you ask him? >> no. the way he was acting -- >> reporter: how come? >> i was scared. >> reporter: you were scared to ask him? >> yes. i was scared of him.
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i'm still scared of him. >> reporter: today you're scared of him? is he still in town? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: a free man? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: you are scared of him. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: how come you are talking to me, i admire you are. >> i don't want to see this innocent man get killed for something he didn't do. >> reporter: during the trial davis' attorneys try to convince jurors cole was the killer. we tried to find sylvester "red" coles. to see what he had to say. we talked to family members but couldn't track him down. >> i don't believe red coles killed mark at all. >> reporter: she looks at sylvester red coles in a very different life. >> sylvester came forward. he didn't have to. i also know troy ran and he didn't have to. if he were innocent he should have come forward. >> reporter: what does she think about people like tanya johnson, with her new information? >> five minutes of fame. >> reporter: pope benedict has asked for davis' sentence to be commuted. jimmy carter and death penalty
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supporter, bob barr, asked for the case to be re-opened. troy davis has been hours away from execution three times to have the case reviewed. i spoke to troy davis and asked him if he thought he would be executed he said no. he has faith in the justice system, ironically a view shared by the widow of the murdered police officer. >> we have to believe in this justice system. we have to believe in this justice system. >> reporter: she is waiting for a much different outcome. gary tuchman, cnn, savannah, georgia. in a moment, legal analyst jeffrey toobin here to talk more about this case. you can log on to ac360.com for behind the scenes photos. of gary's report on troy davis. ahead, michael vick shame. the emotional new interview with a star convicted of operating a dogfighting ring. he said he cried in prison. do you believe his apology? you can decide for yourself. we play it for you. late word from randi kaye on how much money michael jackson memorabilia could brng and why the court battle is far from over. (announcer) take your time to find the right time
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before the break we told you about troy davis death row inmate who today was given a rare chance to appeal his conviction by the supreme court. davis said he didn't murder an off duty police officer. in 1989. several witnesses say they were coerced by the police to lie. the case deals with al gigss of false and pressure testimony. there are other trials where it is not the story being questioned, but the actual science. we see it on movies, tv shows. how microscopic evidence solves a crime. we talk about how reliable forensic science is with jeffrey toobin. lots to say on this subject and the troy davis deal. he joins us now. you are surprised the supreme court would look into this. >> amazing. they have had the chance too before, but what they did was so unusual today. usually, as you know, basically what happens is a district court, a trial court decides, then. a court aftof appeals a circuit court deals with it and maybe a supreme court takes it. there is a very unusual procedure where you can go straight to the supreme court to raise an issue.
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it almost never succeeds but today the supreme court decided to stop this execution and order the hearing just for the first time in 50 years. >> why do you think with this case? >> i think it's very clear. i think some of these justices are concerned an innocent person is about to be executed and they couldn't live with that. one of the interesting legal issues about this case is the court has never decided is it unconstitutional to execute an innocent person? that legal issue you would think has been decided. they never squarely faced the issue. this case may force them to decide it. >> scalia and thomas disagree by the ruling by the supreme court. >> right. they said and you can see their point, this case has been going on for 20 years, many courts have reviewed it. enough is enough. just let the process go forward. that was their argument. >> let's talk about forensics. in general. this was about recanted testimony.
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we all believe that forensics can prove things -- definitively. we see it on "csi." you have done research into this. nothing is cut and dried as we think. >> one thing with forensics you have to draw distinctions. within forensics. dna is the gold standard. dna does establish conclusively that the blood, the semen found in one place is the same as the dna of someone else. once you start getting into other tests it gets very murky. >> what about fingerprints? >> fingerprints are close to dna. they're not 100% because it's not mathematical. sometimes you don't know how many matches you have on a single fingerprint. fingerprints are very good. >> what about bullet identification? there is the belief no one bullet has the same pattern or you can identify a bullet down to what batch it came from. >> that's where you start to get into some very questionable decisions. bullets. bite marks. >> bite marks? that is junk science?
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>> it is often junk science. the question is how much do you rely on it? the word that is so pre nishs used in court all the time is "match." the bite marks match the -- the suspect's bite marks match the bite marks on the victim. what does that mean? how certain is that? that is -- should be a scientific determination but a lot of this science comes exclusively out of the world of criminal law, not out of the world of science. those sorts of quantifications have never been made and there is a lot of loose and misleading testimony that goes on. >> jeff, appreciate it. tomorrow on our crime series, crime scene fraud continues to look at who went to prison for years because of grave errors from a crime lab. here's a preview. >> how old are you? >> 46. >> how old were you when you went to prison? >> 23.
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>> reporter: behind bars since 1986 for a kidnapping and rape. are you angry, ernest? >> i'm angry, but i'm not, you know -- i forgive though. i forgive but i won't forget. >> he won't forget. he's not the only one. more allegations o a crime lab's corruption and inept tuesday. coming up, michael vick in his own words. hear what he says the suffering his dogfighting operation caused to so many animals. is he really sorry? he says he is. we'll let you be the judge. the latest on the milwaukee mayor attacked at a state fair over to weekend. what provoked it and how is he doing now? - oh, come on. - enough! you get half and you get half. ( chirp ) team three, boathouse? ( chirp ) oh yeah-- his and hers. - ( crowd gasping ) - ( chirp ) van gogh? ( chirp ) even steven. - ( chirp ) mansion. - ( chirp ) good to go. ( grunts ) timber! ( chirp ) boss? what do we do with the shih-tzu? - ( crowd gasps ) - ( chirp ) joint custody.
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nfl quarterback michael vick is back on the field practicing with his new team, philadelphia eagles after 18 months in prison, football drills in the summer heat are the first steps getting back into the game. vick is also speaking out about dog fighting saying he cried in prison many nights because of the guilt he felt. here's what he told cbs news' "60 minutes." >> a life. that wasn't the way things was supposed to be and all because of the so-called culture that i thought was right. i thought it was cool and i thought it was, you know, it was fun and it was exciting at the time. it all led to me laying in a prison bunk by myself with
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nobody to talk to but myself. >> who do you blame for all of this? >> i blame me. >> michael vick clearly trying to rehab his image as he prepares for the football season. joining me again senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. with us, npr founder, john ridley. jeff, did you buy the apology? >> i don't have the ability to look into michael vick's soul. as far as i'm concerned -- >> that never stops anyone in cable news. >> i know. i think he paid his debt, he went to prison, he should go -- should be allowed a second chance. i would like to see less-celebrated people get second chances, too. what i don't care about him saying i want to be a role model. please. this guy is very far from a role model. he should just shut up and play football, stay out of trouble and that's all he should do. >> i want to play for our viewers something else vick had to say about his first day in prison.
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>> the first day i walked into prison and they slammed that door i knew, you know, the magnitude of the decisions that i made. and the poor judgment and what i, you know, allowed to happen to the animals. >> john, what did you make of him on "60 minutes" do you buy his explanations? >> well, listen. i don't mean to be too much of a cynic if he means he's sorry. is he sorry for what he did or is he sorry he got caught? in the clip you just played, he said, when the door closed, i realized the magnitude of the things i had done. not fighting the animals, not picking up the carcasses, not shooting the animals it was when i was in prison i realized i screwed up. >> when you look into what his operation actually did, you know, it's not just dogs -- it's drowning dogs, electrocuting dogs, it's pretty brutal stuff. a lot of his mea culpas have sounded slash. i want to play what he said publicly. >> it was wrong.
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everything that happened in that point of time in my life was wrong. it was unnecessary. it was wrong, man. i don't know how many times i've got to say it. i mean, it was wrong. >> john, do you think he was being coached in how to apologi apologize? >> i hope so. this is someone who is going be asked these things over and over again and he has one chance to make a second impression on folks. i hope someone is saying, don't say too much, say you are sorry and take the blame for yourself and acknowledge that what you did was the worst possible thing you could do to animals. is it coached? i hope. i hope it is heartfelt. >> the whole idea of i realized later. you didn't realize when dogs were being electrocuted and drowned that it was wrong? but look, you know, he paid the penalty and, you know, i think it's probably time for people to accept it for what it's worth. >> here is what he said about his actions yesterday. >> it sickens me to my stomach.
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it was, you know, the same feeling i'm feeling right now is what people was feeling. >> i don't -- that one i didn't quite get. sort of the feeling he's getting in the interview is the same feeling that people have watching? >> you know, that one i don't quite understand either, to be honest with you. the thing is so much attention has been put on michael vick. as just said, he has paid his debt. if i could just throw in, i think he's overpaid his debt for this. i want to be clear what he did was wrong and bad and systematic. it was horrible. you have donte stallworth killed a guy while drinking to driving was sentenced to 23 days and vick was sentenced to 24 months in prison. i think the problem is we are putting a lot of focus on a bad act against dogs. i really wonder if we should be looking at the entire system of how these individuals are looked at and how they're punished and how it is all dealt with rather than one individual because it
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seems so bad because it was puppies. >> it is interesting, jeff, some people pay more attention to this case because animals were involved than the death of a human being. >> you recall when we covered this originally. i got more e-mail on this subject from viewers than i did from any human murders that i covered. i mean, people are incredibly passionate about dogs. you're a dog owner. i'm a dog owner. we love dogs. there seems to be disproportion in how people react. perhaps he got a tougher sentence than he might have had there not been all the attention. you know what? good. sometimes criminal law is supposed to have a deterrent effect. in case anybody was in any doubt that dogfighting is illegal they sure know it now and that is only good news. as far as i'm concerned. >> he has the humane society on his side and is working with them. do you think he can make a difference in terms of trying to curb illegal dogfighting? >> you know, i think for people who are into dog fighting and
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are don't have the fear of god in them, i don't know that this is really going to change them. it is a terrible thing. in some ways the sentence outweighs the crime. for some reason i don't think the fact he got caught -- if you can do this to animals, not only fight them as jeffrey was saying, electrocute them, shoot them, drown them, do all these bad things. it's like any other bad behavior if somebody else gets caught, it's not going to happen to me. >> this is why i don't understand with celebrity cases. he is giving speeches. he should be the last person on earth giving speeches on this subject. i don't get why he become answer expert on this subject. >> because he can play football again if he does it. >> if he throws for 300 a game it will all be forgotten in philadelphia. >> nobody will care. >> a lot of people talking about it on the blog. ac360.com. let us know what you think. john ridley, jeff toobin. thanks. the mayor of milwaukee is hacked with a pipe. how it happened, who he was protecting and how he is doing now. a massive wildfire in california is connected with the brutal drug war in mexico.
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a trip to the state fair ended in a violent attack for the mayor of milwaukee. it's an unbelievable story. one minute he's with his family, the next a man is hitt eting hi over the head with a metal pipe. erica hill has the latest. >> reporter: until this weekend most of the questions surrounding milwaukee mayor's future is whether he is planning to run for governor. that changed after the mayor was attacked late saturday night while trying to help a woman and her granddaughter. >> emergency, 911? >> my granddaughter's birth father just tried to pull her out of the car, broke my cell phone, threatened to shoot us and to shoot himself. >> where is he right now? >> he ran down orchard street. there were some people from the fair that were walking past and i jumped out of the car and i shouted for them to call 911. >> reporter: one of the people who heard the woman's call was
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mayor barrett, heading to his car after spending the evening with his family after the wisconsin state fair. he didn't make it home that night. >> what's going on? >> there is a beating on 88th and orchard. there's some guy arguing with his girlfriend and my uncle just tried to step in. there is a bleeding man and we need an ambulance. >> reporter: that bleeding man was mayor barrett. >> tom stepped up and did the right thing. he called 911 and tried to calm the situation, protect the grandmother and her grandchild. as a result of his actions, tom was attacked and struck repeatedly with a metal object. >> reporter: an emotional john barrett on sunday, outside the hospital where the mayor was being treated. on monday he gave cnn more details about the attack and how his brother ended up laying op the treat in a pool of blood. >> the individual after he knocked the phone out and stomps
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on the phone and said, you're not calling. he says, i have a gun and am not afraid to shoot everybody here. tom's kids start to cry. tom said to my sister get the kids out of here. >> reporter: the mayor stayed and took a punch in the gut that doubled him over. he came up swinging and shattered his hand. when it was all over the mayor lost teeth, had to have plastic surgery for cuts on his teeth and according to his brother also stitches on the back of his head. tonight the mayor is home recovering. a 20-year-old suspect arrested on sunday is behind bars. the little girl's grandmother tells cnn they are both fine while john barrett is both proud and relieved. >> i'm just glad that he's okay. he is my brother and i love him and i'm glad he's okay. >> mayor barrett got a phone call from the president who called to check in. make sure he was on the mend. he said the mayor went above and beyond the call of duty and he wanted to know he was proud, in the president's words, in his selfless act of courage.
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he is cracking jokes in jail. his brother says he has a sense of humor. >> cracking jokes in the hospital? >> yeah, in, hospital. he didn't go to jail. sorry, major barrett. >> remarkable case. will be interesting to see when he speaks publicly. >> it will be. >> a "360" bulletin. in central california crews are starting to get a handle on a major wildfire there and perhaps more importantly they know what may have started it. the blaze burned 75,000 acres. in santa barbara county. it is 25% contained. good news there. we also are learning how it may have started. officials say the fire started in the kitchen of an illegal marijuana operation allegedly run by one of the mexican drug cartels. the obama administration taking a rhetorical step away from the defense of marriage act that bars same-sex marriage. in a court filing today the justice department called the 1996 act, quote, discriminatory and said it should be repealed. however, the department said it
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will defend that act in court as long as congress keeps it on the books. a judge in los angeles paving the way for the sale of michael jackson memorabilia. the proceeds would go to his estate. "360's" randi kaye has learned the lot is expected to bring in $15 million. attorneys representing jackson's mother and estate administrators were unable to agree on a second proposal for a memorabilia exhibition worth about $5 million. they'll be back in court on friday. he could be the ultimate underdog. the congressman once known as the hammer, tom delay, well now he is going to be leading on the dance floor. he is part of the lineup for the ninth edition of "dancing with the stars." >> what? >> yes. host tom bergeron says it is not going to be easy this go around. there is a new double elimination in the middle of the season. he calls it a ball room blood bath. tom bergeron may not have spend some time in washington. >> tom delay is used to political blood baths. >> yeah. >> he'll be able to -- i wonder if he can dance. >> i have no idea.
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i wonder -- >> who else was -- tucker carlson -- >> i don't think he made it past the first week. we'll never know about you since you refuse to dance. >> never going to happen. is the white house wavering on a key piece of health care reform? what does that mean for your wallet and for the president? on a completely different note, an ancient relic, who does that look like? could it be michael jackson? >> no. >> the "shot" just ahead. every head. every bite. every gallon. every shoe. every book. every cereal. well, maybe not every cereal. but every stem. every stitch. every tune. every toy. pretty much everything you buy can help your savings account grow because keep the change from bank of america rounds up every debit card purchase to the next dollar and transfers the difference from your checking to savings account. it's one of the many ways we make saving money in tough times a whole lot easier. and i'm joni. we've been best friends since we were two. we've always been alike.
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erica, time for tonight's "shot." an ancient relic with a, perhaps, familiar face. this bust is a few thousand years old. part of the permanent collection of the field museum in chicago. does it remind you of anyone? >> that is creepy. straight up creepy. >> a museum spokeswoman said it is egyptian from 1550 bc or thereabouts. an interesting bit of trivia. statues were defiled by early christians and muslims because they looked at like idolatry. taking the nodes off made them less offense i. >> taking off his nose to spite his face. >> you can see all our shots at ac360.com. >> fine website it is. at the top of the hour, battle for and against health care reform. is president obama backing down on a big piece of it? if he is, what's your bottom line?
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